The Art of Being Rejected for Single People
The Good, the Bad and the Hopeless Romantic in All of Us
The Pain of Being Rejected
Being rejected is one of the most painful things we’d ever experience in life. To be rejected is to be made an outcast. To be rejected is to be judged as unlovable and unworthy of belonging to someone.
It’s no wonder then that studies have shown how this kind of pain is not so different from actual physical pain. For many of us, being rejected is like being slapped, shoved and trampled upon at the same time.
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
I guess this is never more evident than when we experience a broken heart. After a heartbreak, we feel as though we were never good enough. We have given it our all but we have been pushed away. We have loved with everything we have, but that love has merely been mocked and betrayed.
For single people who have experienced this over and over again, the pain becomes like a lingering wound. It burrows deep within you until it becomes part of the way you see yourself. And so whenever someone asks why you’re still single, you somehow reply at the back of your mind, “Because I have been rejected.”
When rejection can be a good thing
What we need to realize is that being rejected can sometimes work in our favor. This is especially true for single people who are still searching for a partner in life.
Here are some of the positive things that can result from being rejected:
1. It can save you from incompatible people
When we’re in love, we sometimes forget questions that would matter for our relationship in the long run. What we may see is the current moment alone when we’re excited to be with someone whose personality is completely different from ours.
But what if this excitement is only a temporary thing? What if your difference in personality is so extreme that neither could adjust sufficiently to make the relationship work out?
Aside from personality differences, there are other incompatibilities that may not work for you and your partner. This can include incompatibilities in values, in financial disposition or in the way you want to raise your children.
2. It can allow us to reject others, too
Rejection is not always a one-way street. It can also happen that the other person has merely sensed your lack of attraction for him or for her. In a way, you may have also rejected that person in your mind, sensing some reason why the two of you should not be together.
For isn’t this the way of love? Many times, the heart alone knows which ones are meant to be with us and which ones are merely passing by. The heart recognizes that person who can make you happy, who can make you feel as though you’re the most fortunate person in all the world.
“Who shall explain the extraordinary instinct that tells us, perhaps after a single meeting, that this or that particular person in some mysterious way matters to us?” — Arthur Christopher Benson
3. It can save you from people with a hidden agenda
Not all people who approach us do so in good faith. Some people may want to use us for their own purposes. Other people could be wolves in sheep’s clothing, waiting to devour us when given the chance.
Being rejected by these people could then be a blessing in disguise. Maybe somewhere along the way, they have sensed that you are not the type to be fooled. Maybe they thought they’d better get away before being found out.
Why rejection doesn’t mean you’re not good enough
Rejection may hurt us terribly, but we must keep in mind that rejection isn’t always about not being good enough.
Here are some other reasons for being rejected by someone you love:
1. People don’t really know you
Most people don’t even know you enough. Many people can judge us merely based on what other people say about us without trying to find out the truth. Some can judge us based only on their first impression of us.
Being rejected could never represent an accurate picture of who we are.
“You cannot judge any man beyond your knowledge of him, and how small is your knowledge.”― Khalil Gibran
2. It could be a matter of timing
Perhaps some people are just not ready yet for a serious relationship. Others may have encountered a major crisis in their lives and their relationship with you had to take a back seat. It could also be that they are more concerned about your future. They may think that continuing to pursue you now will not be good for your current plans in life.
When people say no, they may not be saying no to you. They may just be attending to their own needs at the moment. You don’t need to doubt it when they say that it’s not really you, it’s them.
3. It could be that they felt unworthy of you
Have you ever considered whether the people who left you have done so because they felt they were not good enough for you?
How many movies and television dramas have we seen where the other person distanced himself just because he felt unworthy of the woman he loved?
Overcoming the pain of being rejected
“I opened up to you and you judge me.”― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook
We can’t form a healthy relationship with another person unless we open ourselves and risk being vulnerable. We can’t let others know who we truly are unless we risk being judged by the very people we care about most.
But we have to risk being hurt so we can be happy. We have to risk being rejected so we can be loved.
We can never control how others will see us, but we can decide to see ourselves in a better light. Yes, we have our weaknesses. And yes, we have our wounds. But we must give credit to ourselves for having all the right intentions and for struggling to love others the best way we could. It’s time to reject the wounds that you afflict upon yourself and welcome the reasons why others can find you beautiful and worthy of love.